Buying a weekend house/condo?

  • Jon_Alex

    Posts: 44

    Jun 30, 2015 8:26 PM GMT
    Does anyone own a second house or condo in a nearby city and go back and forth between two homes? For vacation? Weekend? Some other purpose? Is it worth it? Why or why not?

    I own a business about 30-40 minutes outside a mid/large size city. Where I actually live is rural and the city has what I consider a nice gay area with a good local feel to it (not big like SF... Sac is more like San Jose or something). I make good money, have a nice house, but can't get over this feeling that I'm missing out by being too far away from everything. The nature of the business (long hours on occasion) pretty much ties me to the immediate area somewhat. But I can get away on weekends and other random times.

    I don't have much direct evidence that potential dates are passing on me because of where I live, but I do wonder sometimes. I'm sort of forced to do literally everything online (not that many are doing it any other way these days... something I'm beginning to wonder about). And beside the dating scene, I miss the cultural stimuli of an urban area...

    Of course it's a lot of money, and I could spend it instead on vacations and travel (if I ever found someone to go with!). I do think about those opportunity costs. But somehow I feel like being closer to things would help my social life or make it easier to get out more. I've poured myself into work for too long! All I need is something small like a condo.

    So is something like this worth it?
  • metta

    Posts: 39104

    Jun 30, 2015 8:44 PM GMT
    Jon_Alex said

    So is something like this worth it?



    Only you can answer that for you. Just depends on what is important to you and what kind of life you want to live. Having another home that is empty most of the time is probably not a very good way to make an investment but that does not sound like the main reason why you would want to do that.
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    Jun 30, 2015 8:50 PM GMT
    Jon_Alex saidDoes anyone own a second house or condo in a nearby city and go back and forth between two homes? For vacation? Weekend? Some other purpose? Is it worth it? Why or why not?

    I own a business about 30-40 minutes outside a mid/large size city. Where I actually live is rural and the city has what I consider a nice gay area with a good local feel to it (not big like SF... Sac is more like San Jose or something). I make good money, have a nice house, but can't get over this feeling that I'm missing out by being too far away from everything. The nature of the business (long hours on occasion) pretty much ties me to the immediate area somewhat. But I can get away on weekends and other random times.

    I don't have much direct evidence that potential dates are passing on me because of where I live, but I do wonder sometimes. I'm sort of forced to do literally everything online (not that many are doing it any other way these days... something I'm beginning to wonder about). And beside the dating scene, I miss the cultural stimuli of an urban area...

    Of course it's a lot of money, and I could spend it instead on vacations and travel (if I ever found someone to go with!). I do think about those opportunity costs. But somehow I feel like being closer to things would help my social life or make it easier to get out more. I've poured myself into work for too long! All I need is something small like a condo.

    So is something like this worth it?


    Love vacation homes and it was the best thing my family ever did!!!
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    Jul 01, 2015 1:15 AM GMT
    I live in Palm Spring full time, but I have several friends who are seasonal, or weekly. They are from LA and San Diego.
  • jayatl56

    Posts: 463

    Jul 01, 2015 2:22 AM GMT
    I've been thinking of buying something too - as a second home. I can't decide if it's the mountains or the beach. Here's what someone suggested I do. Rent (try AirBnB) the same place in the location you're considering before you buy. You might THINK you like something only to find that it's not exactly what you want. Then someone else suggested not to buy anything but just rent WHERE EVER I want, whenever I want. It's cheaper than ownership by a long run.
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    Jul 01, 2015 8:54 AM GMT
    Here's a different question for the OP:

    If you want to buy another place for recreational purposes and have the resources to do it without sacrificing other personal enjoyments, why would you even need to ask others about it?

    Subtract a few zeros from your income and you'll match mine. I've currently got four expensive mountain bikes (meaning my cheapest bike was $1500 - don't ask the price of my most expensive).

    That said, if YOU want to get another place for recreation, get it! The only thing you have to lose is money, and you can always sell it if you need the money back later (which is my same thinking with the bikes I own).

    Oh and BTW I don't even own a car, yet I could easily sell my bikes and buy a nice Mercedes. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 01, 2015 11:31 AM GMT
    WE have a vacation condo in Santa Fe NM and of course there are pros and cons.

    cons first:

    1) It's an expensive fixed charge. The mortgage, utilities, and condo dues have to be paid every month whether you go there or not.
    2) there are sometimes long stretches when you are too busy to get away and your condo sits idle.
    3) you feel that since you are sinking all this money into your condo, you should use it. That means you won't be taking vacations anywhere else.
    4) you could rent it out part-time but that means you can't keep any personal stuff there.

    pros:

    1) if it's somewhere you really love, there's great joy and freedom in knowing you can go there anytime you want.
    2) you can take your dog, cat, or whatever with you.
    3) you can invite friends.
    4) you don't have to pack anything. you just go to the airport.
    5) if you're thinking of moving there or retiring there you already have a toehold.
    5) there's a cachet in having 2 addresses. In "The Importance of Being Earnest" Lady Bracknell observes that multiple addresses are a sure sign of repectability.
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    Jul 01, 2015 11:57 AM GMT
    Do it. I have a lot of friends who have weekend places as well, but they use theirs to get out of the city and into quieter places. One friend has a house in Pennsylvania, about 1 1/2 hours from New York, and goes quite a bit. She rents it out on Airbnb when she's not there. Are you thinking about San Francisco? You could definitely rent a place out when you're not around and make your money back.
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    Jul 01, 2015 1:37 PM GMT
    dont do it:
    try not to accumulate a lot of hanging on baggage in life. A second condo is big time baggage.

    if you got the funds to do this, invest it while you can in areas that will appreciate and or pays a dividend. Buy a duplex, start a side business. 2010 was the window to buy investment property by the way.

    you have burned up a third of your life and from what you say you have been successful. Now is not the time to start a mid life crisis.


    that being said:
    -make sure you document you live in the house at least 2 years of the next 5 years. The 2 years does not need to continuous. This is to avoid cap gains on the invertible sale of the property.
    -With two properties you will be locked into the geographic area your living in, for tax reasons, at least for 5-10 years. Again the Cap Gains exclusion laws.
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    Jul 01, 2015 2:18 PM GMT
    Real estate is always a good investment but, as smart real estate investors know, it's location, location, location. However, if you're simply looking for a second home and not a potential investment, then what should matter is what would make you happy.
  • Jon_Alex

    Posts: 44

    Jul 01, 2015 8:38 PM GMT
    Thanks for the replies. I'm asking mostly because I want to hear from people who've done it already and how far away, how much they use it, etc.

    paulflexesThat said, if YOU want to get another place for recreation, get it! The only thing you have to lose is money, and you can always sell it if you need the money back later (which is my same thinking with the bikes I own).


    That's what I was thinking. Honestly, I don't really see many potential downsides in the grand scheme of things. It'll just be a huge short term PITA if I decide it's not what I thought it was.

    PhoenixNYCDo it. I have a lot of friends who have weekend places as well, but they use theirs to get out of the city and into quieter places. One friend has a house in Pennsylvania, about 1 1/2 hours from New York, and goes quite a bit. She rents it out on Airbnb when she's not there. Are you thinking about San Francisco? You could definitely rent a place out when you're not around and make your money back.


    Sacramento. SF is 2 hours drive... I sort of wanted to keep it a long commute length distance for easy access on weekends and such. The traffic is also killer at those times to the bay. That and buying property in SF is just a tad out of reach financially. Over to the East bay like Oakland and you're pretty much in a Sacramento-size city again with higher prices. Buying a place somewhere in the bay and doing the airbnb thing is an interesting possibility though... I like your enthusiasm... thanks!

    jayatl56I've been thinking of buying something too - as a second home. I can't decide if it's the mountains or the beach. Here's what someone suggested I do. Rent (try AirBnB) the same place in the location you're considering before you buy. You might THINK you like something only to find that it's not exactly what you want. Then someone else suggested not to buy anything but just rent WHERE EVER I want, whenever I want. It's cheaper than ownership by a long run.


    I can see renting if it's actual "vacations" to far away spots we're talking about. I'm thinking more of a literal weekend place, where the alternative would be paying rent every month indefinitely. Better to just make the payments on a mortgage and own something... This is where the distance factor comes in. If it's a commute-length drive away then you can go there basically at the drop of a hat and thus you're more likely to go often probably. A little further and you may not use it as much, maybe do the airbnb rental thing... although at that point you might think about exactly how many times per year you'd use it and whether renting different random places is better.

    But yeah, I agree with the trial rental thing. I've actually already lived in the area I'm interested in before a few years back before I started the business...

    pellazyou have burned up a third of your life and from what you say you have been successful. Now is not the time to start a mid life crisis.


    Why not? What else am I going to do with myself? ;)